16: The Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia (1924–2000)

This topic covers the dramatic events in the Soviet Union from Stalin's  establishment of a totalitarian state through economic and political stagnation to the collapse of Stalin's legacy in 1989 and the problems of the post-Soviet era.

Specifically this section covers:

  • Stalin's defeat of Trotsky in the leadership race, Stalin's economic policies and his increase in political control through propaganda and the Terror
  • The USSR's victory in the Great Patriotic War and the political and economic developments after the war up to 1953
  • The domestic and foreign policies of Khrushchev and Brezhnev
  • The impact of Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost
  • The collapse of the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia up to 2000

1. Stalin's rise to power and rule (ATL)

Here are some different activities that you can do for this first part of Section 16. There is a mixture of starter activities on this page plus source activities, summary activities, analytical activities,...

2. Stalin's rule (1941 - 1953) (ATL)

Stalin's rule (1941 - 1953)Here are some different activities that you can do for this second part of Section 16. The aim is to get students to understand the impact of the Second World War on the Soviet...

3. Khrushchev and Brezhnev (ATL)

Here are some different activities that you can do for this third part of Section 16. There is a mixture of starter activities on this page plus source activities summary activities, analytical activities,...

4. Gorbachev (1985 - 1991) (ATL)

Here are some different activities that you can do for this part of Section 16 which focuses on the transformation of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev. There is a mixture of starter activities on this...

5. Post Soviet Russia to 2000 (ATL)

Here are some different activities that you can do for the final part of Section 16 which focuses on the the tumultuous post-Soviet era and the policies of Yeltsin. There is a mixture of starter activities...

6. The Soviet Union and Russia: Essay frames and writing exercises

This page contains a variety of essay writing exercises and essay plans for this topic.Task OneEssay practice: IntroductionsDiscuss the reasons why Stalin rather than Trotsky had become leader of the...

7. The Soviet Union and Russia: Graded student essays

On this page you will find sample essays on this topic, written by students. There are also some suggested activities that you could do with the essays as well.Essay One'He brought his country and his...

8. The Soviet Union and Russia: Videos and activities

On this page you will find some suggestions and links to videos that can be used as well as teacher notes with suggestions as to how the videos can be used with students. Questions for each video are...

9. The Soviet Union and Russia: Extra resources

On these pages you can find useful websites for this unit along with historians' texts that students might find enjoyable to develop their understanding further. There are also some suggestions for fiction...

The Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia: quizzes

On this page you will find quizzes on this topic to help students learn key factsPhoto by Evan Dennis on UnsplashHere are 25 multiple choice questions on the the years 1929 to 1939 covering Stalin's policies....

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